Coffee growth, pest and yield responses to free-air CO2 enrichment
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Despite the importance of coffee as a globally traded commodity and increasing concerns about risks associated with climate change, there is virtually no information about the effects of rising atmospheric [CO2] on field-grown coffee trees. This study shows the results of the first 2 years of an innovative experiment. Two commercial coffee cultivars (Catuaí and Obatã) were grown using the first free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) facility in Latin America (ClimapestFACE). Plants of both cultivars maintained relatively high photosynthetic rates, water-use efficiency, increased growth and yield under elevated [CO2]. Harvestable crop yields increased 14.6 % for Catuaí and 12.0 % for Obatã. Leaf N content was lower in Obatã (5.2 %) grown under elevated [CO2] than under ambient [CO2]; N content was unresponsive to elevated [CO2] in Catuaí. Under elevated [CO2] reduced incidence of leaf miners (Leucoptera coffeella) occurred on both coffee cultivars during periods of high infestation. The percentage of leaves with parasitized and predated mines increased when leaf miner infestation was high, but there was no effect of elevated [CO2] on the incidence of natural enemies. The incidence of rust (Hemileia vastatrix) and Cercospora leaf spot (Cercospora coffeicola) was low during the trial, with maximum values of 5.8 and 1 %, respectively, and there was no significant effect of [CO2] treatments on disease incidence. The fungal community associated with mycotoxins was not affected by the treatments.
KeywordsCoffee Berry Coffee Plant Azoxystrobin Leaf Miner Cercospora Leaf Spot
The authors are grateful to Embrapa (project 01.07.06.002.00: Climapest - Impacts of global climate changes on plant diseases, pests and weeds; and project 02.12.01.018.00: Impact of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and water availability on coffee agroecosystem under FACE facility] for financial support; Dr José R. P. Gonçalves (Embrapa Environment), in memoriam, for foliar N analysis; Dr Luiz Carlos Fazuoli and Dr Masako Toma Braghini (Instituto Agronômico de Campinas) for helpful comments and suggestions; technicians of Embrapa, especially Mr. Gilmar Victorino, for their contribution on FACE building and maintenance; for Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), Embrapa Coffee and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) for research grants and scholarships.
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